My name is Eric Wells, I'm a 21-year-old openly gay rapper living in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I have independently released 2 EPs under the moniker Sayth. I've toured all over the midwest and have opened shows for rappers such as Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, Mod Sun, Mike Mictlan (Doomtree), Tickle Torture, Guante, and others. I pay my rent and food expenses entirely on money from merch sales / gigs. Ask me anything.

bandcamp (all free downloads):





Comments: 107 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

slothed_out10 karma

The Eau Claire music scene is one that is made up of very passionate individuals spread out across many different genres with the general focus being on a rock-based alternative type music. Where do you think the general Eau Claire scene is at right now, and where is it headed? On top of that is there a city that you would rather be in right now/what areas of the country have a draw for you?

heysayth8 karma

I've only been "in the scene" for a few years now but from what I can tell the music scene is becoming more and more diverse all the time. We've got guys like sloslylove making this rad dance music. I caught a band called Terminator Jeans at Mousetrap last night that was a new experimental noise rock project. We have an unbelievable amount of music being created for the size of the city. Hell, some nights I'll go to 3 or 4 different shows. Hopefully the future holds more collaboration and cross-genre shows.

I love Minneapolis. I love Brooklyn. I've never been to LA but LA altrap is my favorite type of hip-hop right now (hellfyre club, ect.). I wanna check out LA and I might end up there. The problem is that I can live really cheaply here and focus on writing and rapping. I also miss EC really bad when I leave. For now I'm happy here, we'll see how I feel in 6 month.

iknowthemuffinman19 karma

I'm from Wausau, Wisconsin so hello! What made you get into rap and what are your future plans for shows and albums?

heysayth3 karma

hello! I grew up listening to hip-hop so it just felt right when I started freestyling and writing raps. Sleepy E encouraged me to do an a cappella track on one of his first projects and it was on from there. I have a project in the works with EC/MPLS producer North House []. Also got some new songs I'm working on with various other rappers / producers.

I'm opening for Prof later this month and Toki Wright in february, both of Rhymesayers Entertainment. I'd like to do an East Coast tour this spring where it's just myself and a backpack riding greyhounds all around. More basements, more venues in different cities, I've played about 125 shows and I really want to get that number higher.

abcdefghijklmnopq3398 karma

Are you of Native American descent? What are your favorite hobbies? By the way my name is Lloyd Turner.

heysayth7 karma

Yep I'm Ojibwe and White (a huge combination of german, irish, hungarian, and a few others I believe). My dad was born on Red Lake Reservation in Northern MN. He met my mom and they moved to Eau Claire.

heysayth7 karma

Oh yeah hobbies, I make beats sort of as a hobby, I've only ever put out like 3 beats that I've made. Is flyering for shows a hobby? I do that a lot. I'm working on a zine right now. When it's not winter I bike like 10 miles a day. Is partying a hobby? I like to party.

heysayth3 karma

Also I watch a ton of music videos and documentaries and listen to podcasts frequently.

myqueerthrowaway8 karma

(Using a throwaway, oops).

As a queer person living in Eau Claire, I love the representation you bring. Any time there is a queer/gay person in any sort of light it helps me realize I'm not alone and that there's chance to success, regardless of hatred my family shows due to how I innately am.

Ignore the people "calling you out" for using the "gay card," it's extremely important for people like me to see successful queer people. Thanks man for being open with yourself through your music and life, it helps more than you realize. Sorry for this long winded rant, I'll find a question to ask you now haha.

Who/what inspired you from a young age to go into rapping?

heysayth7 karma

:) <3 :) this makes me really fucking happy. thank you.

I mostly just saw my friends rapping and I was like "I want to do that". I wasn't that social as a kid and I think playing shows has changed that a ton, now I'm a complete extrovert.

StrongerThanBear6 karma

How does the rap culture affect you and your sexuality? When did you realize and come out and how did your family and friends react? How has your sexuality affected your career if at all?

heysayth7 karma

First question is a tough one because my sexual identity and connection with music are super intertwined. My music is super left-of-field and doesn't really deal with common themes in rap music. I rap about being gay but I rap more about video games, food, friends, and basements amongst other things. So I'd say rap culture, at least mainstream rap culture, doesn't inform who I am as a person very much. Hope that answers your question!

I realized I was gay at 13, and I came out to my friend, the guy who would later become my recording engineer, at 14. He was surprised but super cool about it (shouts out to Sleepy E). Came out to my mom a few weeks later and she cried a lot, mostly tears of joy that I was open enough to tell her. My dad and I never really talked about it but he's cool with it. I really didn't experience any homophobia at school or from my friends aside from a few rare instances. All of my friends are progressive and forward thinking people.

My sexuality affects my career, for sure. I have LGBT fans that connect with my songs way more when I talk openly about my sexuality, and use male pronouns. I'd say being gay helps my career a lot because "gay rapper" has some shock value to it still, people will check out my work on that alone.

framed_pic6 karma

Rare candy is a nice track dude.

Care to share the inspiration or thought behind the album cover/art?

heysayth2 karma

thank you! My guy Dan Forke (wealthy relative) did the art. I just told him "make it pretty and use some flowers please" and he did the rest.

s/o to him -->

framed_pic2 karma

So, what are some things that you enjoy and attract you to hip hop. What are some aspects that you see as negative?

Can you point to specific moments in your career thus far where you can say THAT is encouraging or moments to keep your self going?

heysayth3 karma

I love that when I write a song its just me, just me rapping anyways. I can say whatever I feel like saying and I don't have a band that has to approve it or anyone over my shoulder dictating. I love that I can jump around on stage. The homophobia and misogyny in some hiphop can turn me off to some songs. At the same time, I could dance around to YMCMB records all day. Its confusing and tough for me sometimes.

Opening that Mac Miller show was a huge encouraging moment. The support that Bad Habitat has gotten in my community is really encouraging. Positive crowd response helps. Really though I think I continue to make music because if I don't I feel like shit. When I have writers block I get really depressed. Everything gets dark. Then I write another song and it feels like the first day of spring. Like your first time trying ecstasy with your first love. Like heaven if heaven exists.

Predcrafter6 karma

What's your favorite meal? Including drinks and sauces if any.

heysayth6 karma

My favorite foods are slow-cooked meats, and pho. I love vietnamese food, and traditional mexican food. Spicy everything. My favorite sauce is putting hot sauce (anything thats not tobasco) into blue cheese dressing then grinding black pepper in there. It sounds gross. To a lot of folks is probably is but I love it. Im a sucker for IPAs and wine. To be honest most of the alcoholic drinks I consume are bottom shelf, I live on a (very) modest budget (if you want me to elaborate I'd be happy to).

FireLordIzumi5 karma

Do you think being openly gay works with you or against you in the music industry, intentionally or otherwise?

heysayth5 karma

I don't really know yet to be honest. I've sort of just carved out my niche and not thought too much about the industry in terms of major labels and whatnot. It helps me get press from LGBT publications for sure, and it helped me get a scholarship to music school (I think).

FireLordIzumi3 karma

Well either way, good for you for coming out early in your career, I feel a lot of people would worry too much about potential negative effects

heysayth7 karma

thank you. I never really thought about it I just rolled with it. I rented out a walk-in-closet in minneapolis for a summer, that's the only closet I'll ever live in.

SgSnorkel5 karma

Wanna go smoke a cig?

heysayth8 karma

ya I'll meet you on the porch

heysayth10 karma

update: we smoked a cig.

bite_the_pillow5 karma

what is your favorite venue you've ever played? and if you could play one venue what would it be?

heysayth10 karma

Oh man that's a tough one. I'm going to give you more than you probably wanted. I opened for Mac Miller at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, that was dope because we had giant monitors and wireless mics and were on a jumbotron and shit. It was mind-blowing.

On the flip side, last year my friends Glassworks Improv had a house in Eau Claire that they did basement shows at, it was where I really learned proper crowd work and banter. The place as crazy, a bunch of drunk kids throwing shows all the time. It was raw. Amazing. The kind of place you felt completely free to be as weird as you want. So that's one of my favorites for sure.

I want to play at Low End Theory in LA really bad. Its like the hub of alt-rap right now and sort of seems like mecca for me. Obviously playing the garden or somewhere like that would be incredible. First Ave Mainroom is also a dream of mine.

sparklepopper4 karma

How does Ojibwe culture deal with being gay? IIRC the Lakota are quite religious and conservative (Pine Ridge was asked to host an abortion clinic in response to regulation elsewhere in the state, but declined because many of them are the result of rape) and I know the Inuit are also pretty Catholic. Is this a Native-American thing or just the few groups I know of?

heysayth3 karma

I'm honestly not too sure but I believe the Ojibwe are also quite religious and conservative. I'm sorry to report that I'm am not nearly as connected to my Ojibwe roots as I would like to be, but I'm working on it. I asked my Native American Religions professor at UofM about it and he was very pro-gay rights but informed that many older leaders were not. Red Lake reservation is pretty conservative and most of the folks up there aren't supportive of LGBT issues.

jk6i3 karma

Hey, dude. Pretty sick that this got the attention it did. I still remember seeing you at the first few UWEC open mics this year, and really starting to dig it more and more each time. I think With the Crocodiles is my favorite song. Maybe I can drum with you on a collab soon? Keep doing what you do. hands together praying to non-based god

heysayth2 karma

haha yeah I'm really surprised I've gotten this many questions. Lets do it homie.

flapanther337813 karma

TIL that an AskReddit question titled, "[Serious] Gay Ojibwe rappers from Wisconsin, how do you feel about ____?" would actually have a valid response.

I guess I have to ask a question. Hmm.

As someone who grew up listening to Hip Hop in the late 80s/early 90s ... I have to say that the flow/styles I've been hearing from rappers within the last 5 years or so is really odd. I would almost classify it as "art rap", similar to how 1960s "psychedelic rock" could be called "art rock". It seems that artists are trying to push the boundaries of what Hip Hop is to the point that it's not even Hip Hop anymore. I can understand that from an artistic point (I play guitar/bass) but honestly as a Hip Hop fan I'm just not feeling it. Someone below said they liked Rare Candy so I gave that a listen. I wouldn't say you fit into the category I'm talking about but what are your thoughts/comments on my assesment?

EDIT: The player moved on to esc. Interesting use of Fleetwood Mac. I see "Beats by North House, Mortal Dan, and Sayth." Who did that track?

heysayth3 karma

It's all about taste. I grew up in the internet era and I really love the new weirder shit coming out. To be honest I pretty much only listen to hip-hop made in the last 3 years. I'm not ignorant to the '90s stuff, its just not my go-to. Milo, Open Mike Eagle, Busdriver, and Aesop Rock are some of my favorites and their music is very psychedelic / art rap. Most people refer to my music to be "alt rap" or "art rap" or "glitch hop" or "nerd core", it doesn't bother me when people put a label on it.

I flipped that Dreams sample. When I play it live I start by saying "I stole this beat from Fleetwood Mac", all I did was slow the sample and loop it. I might have added some effects too and there's one part where I low-pass the beat, that and Rare Candy are the only songs I produced on the EP...if you can really even consider that producing.

Awtron3 karma

hey dude what's your favorite 90's r&b song?

-rich homie tron

slothed_out5 karma

does this new comment mean u aint tryna get lit

heysayth3 karma

Im already lit ya'll.

heysayth5 karma

also reddit is really fun, where have I been all my life?

heysayth3 karma

sup tron

I believe I can fly probably

unless the thong song counts as r&b

  • dead homie sayth

B0ngloarder3 karma

Yo i told you, you are the best thing to come out of Eau Claire at your last show in the cities, and i meant it, FUCK Bon iver, shit puts me to sleep, showed Rare Candy to my gay Pokemon freak friend and he fell in love, so well see you at the HoR at the 29th! Wanna smoke a bowl after the show?

heysayth1 karma

haha I remember that, thank you! I don't smoke anymore but I'd love to drink a beer or take a shot with you!

deakenjayb2 karma

Hey man I know this is a really late post but I'm over in Stevens Point and we have lots of artists come and play on campus, you ever thought of coming over to UWSP to do a show?

heysayth2 karma

I'd love to! Been trying to book more campus gigs lately. My friend Seth graduated from there recently and talks up the school quite a bit so it'd be cool to check it out.

deakenjayb2 karma

I'll see if I can get a hold of one of the people who does the booking for the shows then, if not I know some friends that like to do shows at their house on the weekends and it would be really cool to have a more legit act come and play

heysayth2 karma

That'd be rad. Thank you!

Voobrazit2 karma


heysayth1 karma

Thanks for all the questions! I'm glad you've seen the LAAB videos, for anyone who hasn't ---->

I want to collaborate with more experimental beat-makers for sure. I'd love to put a record out on vinyl or a CD with an attached zine, something utilizing multimedia like that. I want to play 1000 shows. I've recently been really into writing heavily multisyllabic lines, so hopefully continuing with those. Been getting into pedals and vocal effects more and more so I'd like to make use of those in my live act as well as on records.

I have not heard of Heidi Barton Stink. I'll check her(?) out and report back.

What's been making me happy currently? Hmmm. It'd be easier to list what has been making me unhappy to be honest. I've sort of become a DIY booking agent in EC, I get about an email / fb message a day from bands looking to book around the area. Connecting with those artists has been great. Vice documentaries have been making me happy today. Answering these questions has been making me happy, sort of feels like therapy.

I don't think we played hid and go seek much but I remember hiding in a shoe closet one time when we were up in red lake at my grandparents house. I remember hiding under an arm chair at my other grandparents house in Milwaukee. I think I hid behind doors a lot.

Oh man I have a list of favorite lines. Right now here's a few:

Wealthy Relative's "no rewind, no stop, it rained on the night that you died" // Drake's "I learned working with the negatives can make for better pictures" // Kool AD's "Fuck the beatles, go yoko, you know bro?" // I'll add more as I think of them

eatcitrus2 karma

You ever watch The Addams Family Values movie where they go to Camp Chippewa?

heysayth2 karma

Didn't know that existed. Finding today.

cyan1012 karma

Do you watch football? If yes, are you a packers fan?

heysayth2 karma

Yes and yes. Tough loss today. I was watching it at my favorite bar, its a spot called The Joynt on Water Street in EC. Every sunday they have a food bar of free food and the beers cost $1 (50 cents during happy hour). So even though we lost, at least I still got a buzz for cheap and ate some amazing guac with close friends. Silver linings, right?

Lookoutbehind-4 karma

That bar sucks.

heysayth2 karma

to each their own, I like the joynt a lot. same with clancy's and the trap. house parties hold my heart though.

InsertScotch1 karma

What's your opinion on fish sticks?

heysayth2 karma

s/o to this gay fish reference

heysayth3 karma

I don't fuck with fish sticks, I do enjoy walleye though.

doctor_why1 karma

Whoa, hold up. I live in Eau Claire and am totally unaware of any gay Ojibwe rap scene. When and where do you perform?

heysayth2 karma

There's not really a scene, its just me. House of Rock, Mousetrap, Pizza Plus, house shows, basements. I played at House of Rock last weekend with Arms Aloft, Puncher, and Drunk Drivers. I'm playing there again next thursday opening for Prof.

SergeantUpvote1 karma

Super cool! Eau Claire native here. The music scene is definitely starting to get better and better. I know Elliot from glassworks, good kid. You look like a guy I saw at a retail store this Saturday in saint paul

What was your favorite place to perform? Who did you like working with the most?

heysayth1 karma

I like House of Rock and Mousetrap a lot, the staff both places treat me great and they let me throw cool shows with mixed-genre lineups. I just played at 7th St Entry (connected to First Ave) in MPLS and that was great. Basement and living room shows and always fun too. It all depends on my mood, the crowd, and the vibe.

dharmabum_giese1 karma

are you allergic to any animals?

chicken, beef, pork or tofu pho?

what are your views on organized religion?

heysayth1 karma


Beef or combination if it's the same price. With all the fixings, except fish sauce.

I'm not a fan. In my humble opinion organized religion has done and continues to do more harm than good. However, I don't blame people for needing an explanation for what happens when we die, that's something I think about a lot.

ClavicleRub1 karma

Sparkles the gay rapper from YouTube?

heysayth1 karma

......? okay....?

heysayth1 karma

weird question.

Jesus_cats1 karma

Did you know you were gay before or after you got into rap? and do other rappers look at/treat you differently when they rap against you

heysayth3 karma

It was about the same time. I was 13 or 14 when I started getting heavy into rapping and that's the same year I came out.

I don't battle at all so I never really rap "against" anyone. I respect battle rap its just not my cup of tea. Most of the rappers I surround myself with and play shows with are forward thinking people. Usually they know I'm gay and no one has ever had a problem with it, rappers these days are more open minded than people think - at least the ones I encounter.

[deleted]1 karma


heysayth1 karma

Haven't seen it. But I'll check it out and report back!

Vazmanian0 karma

What would you like to say to the people claiming that you use gay agenda to gain publicity?

heysayth1 karma

This is kind of a oddly phrased question but I'll take a stab anyways. I don't really have an agenda, other than trying to make cool music and get it heard as much as possible.

If me being gay helps that happen, then cool.

I'm young and I'm dumb and I'm just doing what feels right to me right now.

Vazmanian1 karma

No no sorry mate, i wasn't saying you had a gay agenda! It's just something i would imagine a lot of people would accuse you of. Many gay rappers get accused of that (macklemore, frank ocean, fabolous)

heysayth1 karma

word. my answer would be pretty much the same. I don't have an agenda but if me being gay helps me get press and publicity then cool. If me being gay helps me gain publicity and that leads to some other weird gay kid that is in a dark place hear my music and decide to stick around on earth another day then it was worth it. Also, Macklemore isn't gay, at least if he is he has never come out publicly.

Twinopolis-1 karma

What's the biggest penis you've ever taken and do you worry about STD's?

heysayth2 karma

I don't worry about STDs because I don't randomly hook up with people. I'm super picky when it comes to guys, I have less sexual encounters than most the straight guys I know. I prefer to know someone and be comfortable with them before doing anything sexual.

Curious789-1 karma

Ask me anything.

Yes. Is there any reason for your music being so garbage?

heysayth1 karma

Its cool if you don't like it, its not meant for you then. A lot of other people enjoy it. Different strokes. <3

ClavicleRub-4 karma

a gay Jew rapper? Do you work at taco town too??

heysayth3 karma

Ojibwe, not Jewish. I do like tacos tho.

Nuttin_Up-11 karma

Why do you feel the need to identify yourself as a gay rapper? Why not just a rapper?

It doesn't matter if you're gay or not. You're no more special and no more worse of an individual than any other rapper.

heysayth3 karma

I don't introduce myself or refer to myself as a "gay rapper" in everyday life. Its just fairly uncommon which is why I included it in the title this post.

DeathByRedditcide-11 karma


heysayth9 karma

My sexual preference plays a huge part in my experience in the world. Being gay has had a huge impact on my life.

Nuttin_Up-10 karma

OK. So. Being a straight white guy has had a huge impact on my life but I don't go around advertising that I'm a straight white guy.

In the 1967 movie, "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" a black man is dating a white girl. Both of their parents are having difficulty coming to terms with their relationship.

The black man and his father are having a discussion when the son says... and I paraphrase, "The trouble is, dad, you view yourself as a black man. I view myself as a man".

Your skin color, your nationality, your orientation play no part in your worth as a human. You are valuable because you are human not because you are gay.

Did you ever hear Freddy Mercury ever go around saying, "I'm the gay rock singer for Queen"? No, he was just the rock singer for Queen who happened to be gay. Everyone knew he was gay without him vocalizing it.

heysayth9 karma

idk man, I feel you and I struggle with this as well, trust me. But I'm proud to be gay and I am open about it because there's a ton of kids that can't / aren't because of their situations. Maybe me being like "yo Im gay and I rap and its okay to be proud of who you are" will help someone out. I'm not sure. I'm just livin and doing the best I can.

ClavicleRub-14 karma

Why would you even throw in that you are a gay Jew? Like, that's too righteous and seems as if your bragging. downvoted

heysayth6 karma

I'm not Jewish, I'm Ojibwe. Native American bruh. I'm not bragging, its just pretty unusual is all.